Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets
We develop a simple rational model of active portfolio management that provides a natural benchmark against which to evaluate observed relationship between returns and fund flows. Many effects widely regarded as anomalous are consistent with this simple explanation. In the model, investments with active managers do not outperform passive benchmarks because of the competitive market for capital provision, combined with decreasing returns to scale in active portfolio management. Consequently, past performance cannot be used to predict future returns, or to infer the average skill level of active managers. The lack of persistence in actively managed returns does not imply that differential ability across managers is nonexistent or unrewarded, that gathering information about performance is socially wasteful, or that chasing performance is pointless. A strong relationship between past performance and the flow of funds exists in our model: indeed, this is the market mechanism that ensures that no predictability in performance exists. Choosing parameters to match the flow-performance relationship and survivorship rates, we find these features of the data are consistent with the vast majority (80%) of active managers having at least enough skill to make back their fees.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 40 bd. du Pont d'Arve, Case postale 3, CH - 1211 Geneva 4|
Phone: 41 22 / 312 09 61
Fax: 41 22 / 312 10 26
Web page: http://www.swissfinanceinstitute.ch
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brown, Stephen J & Goetzmann, William N, 1995.
" Performance Persistence,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 679-98, June.
- Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
- Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997.
"Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
- Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Judith A. Chevalier & Glenn D. Ellison, 1995. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," NBER Working Papers 5234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
- Dan Bernhardt & Ryan Davies & Harvey Westbrook Jr., 2002.
"Smart Fund Managers? Stupid Money?,"
ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance
icma-dp2002-19, Henley Business School, Reading University, revised Jul 2003.
- Lu Zheng, 1999. "Is Money Smart? A Study of Mutual Fund Investors' Fund Selection Ability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 901-933, 06.
- Brown, Keith C & Harlow, W V & Starks, Laura T, 1996. " Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 85-110, March.
- Chordia, Tarun, 1996. "The structure of mutual fund charges," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-39, May.
- Ippolito, Richard A, 1992. "Consumer Reaction to Measures of Poor Quality: Evidence from the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 45-70, April.
- Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
- Richard A. Ippolito, 1989. "Efficiency with Costly Information: A Study of Mutual Fund Performance, 1965–1984," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-23.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp100. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marilyn Barja)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.